Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Political HipHop

Tehran's underground music scene is explored in a number of documentaries at last year's Cannes Film Festival, including Amir Hamz's "Sounds of Silence" and Bahman Ghobadi's "No One Knows About Persian Cats" From forerunners like rock band O-hum to innovative stars like Mohsen Namjoo, the stories of a few musicians who have gone mainstream once they leave Iran have been featured in the mainstream media. But less is known about those who remain inside the country and cautiously guard their identities.
Hip-hop in particular deserves recognition for its mainstream status among youthful audiences in Iran. Kucheh bazaar vernacular, or street slang, dominates Farsi rap, and most songs are characterized by a litany of colorful profanity. Lyrics frequently depict Tehran's increasingly promiscuous nightlife and drug culture, and hint at indifference in the face of prevalent struggles with depression and despair. For instance, in "Summer is Short," popular rapper Zed Bazi goes:

We feel sexier [i.e, after doing cocaine], like we're lying on some beach in Mexico/ ... then we're in bed, on top of each other/ ... and I want you to tell me 'Fuck Life'
But Iran's "President of Hip Hop," as he is dubbed, goes by the stage name Hich Kas, meaning "Nobody." In 2003, at 18, Hich Kas pioneered one of the first rap groups in the country called "021," after the area code for Tehran. After Ershad, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, denied his group official permission to perform or release his music, Hich Kas proceeded to record his music in underground studios and distribute it online. He released a full album, "The Asphalt Jungle," on iTunes in 2006.
In an interview with the Daily Show's Jason Jones this past summer, Hich Kas said his music focuses on social issues, such as the regime's mistreatment of the public and the high rates of addiction, depression and unemployment among Iran's youth.

"Bunch of Soldiers" is his first track with a music video (featured here with English subtitles). Filming street scenes without an Ershad-issued permit can carry a jail sentence, so most artists shy away from making videos. Hich Kas decided to brave the danger. The 2008 song, which encourages uniting in the face of oppression, seems strangely prescient in light of the events since the June election. The video's depiction of Tehran set against pitch black and bright white backgrounds adds to the mood that the dark but hopeful lyrics evoke.

ZedBazi is one of the most popular & most influential Iranian HipHop bands. they are also one of the very first persian bands who works abroad, in England.
ZedBazi consists of 3 people
Saman Wilson ( Willy )
Sohrab Masterjoint ( MJ )
Mehrad Hidden ( Hidden )
& alongside frequent collabarators Alireza JJ and Sijal and Nasim also Mehran Korjes(Jubin) and Raidon. Mehrad Hidden and Saman Wilson first met whilst they were in High School in Iran, and later befriended Sohrab MJ in a party.
the band has been created in 2005. they release several very well known and influential songs like “BiHess” and “Tabestoon Kootahe” which gained a huge success and fame for the band. Their 2006 song “Berim Fazaa” has been downloaded over 8 million times. they’ve toured europe and dubai in 2006 . They are one of the most famous Persian Rap and Hip Hop artists, and are
credited with introducing gangsta rap to Iran. Their songs usually talk about controversial issues faced in Iran such as sex and drugs while residing in Tehran.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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